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The Crucial Decision That Helped St. HOPE Refocus on Its Mission to Help Others Pursue Excellence

Posted by Kendall Fisher, Executive Producer and Host of The NetSuite Podcast

If you pay a visit to the Oak Park neighborhood outside of Sacramento, California, you’ll notice a bustling coffee shop and a beautifully renovated theater, students walking from Sacramento High School and people stopping in the Underground Bookstore.

But it wasn’t always this way. 

Historically, Oak Park was an under-resourced community with high poverty and crime rates. The school system suffered and less than half the students from Sac High actually graduated.

That’s why former NBA player Kevin Johnson vowed he’d return one day. He knew he needed to make a difference in his hometown and help kids just like him create opportunities to succeed. In 1989, he fulfilled his promise, returning to Oak Park to create St. HOPE Academy, an afterschool program for 12 African-American boys at Sac High.


Fast forward 30 years, and that academy has turned into St. HOPE, a nonprofit education and economic development corporation with the mission of “helping others pursue excellence”—the meaning of H.O.P.E. Now run by CEO Jake Mossawir, the organization has grown into a charter network—composed of an elementary school, two middle schools and Sacramento High School—as well as 20 small businesses that provide nearly 300 jobs and catalyze more than $43 million in economic and real estate investment. 

St. HOPE is a self-sustainable nonprofit that’s completely revitalized Oak Park. 

However, the organization was also overseeing all of these entities through an entirely manual operation, using Excel spreadsheets and an outsourced third party to manage finances. Not only were these processes costing the organization time and money, they were also taking St. HOPE leaders away from focusing on the mission.

Thus, when CFO Julian Love joined the organization in 2016, he knew St. HOPE needed to find a new solution. He wanted a cloud-based software that could run St. HOPE’s entire operation under one umbrella. Love was also adamant about a system that could get the organization up and running as quickly as possible.

Watch the video above to find out the role SuiteSuccess played in St. HOPE’s decision to implement Oracle NetSuite and how that decision has helped the organization scale back on their head count, provide raises for teachers and focus more on the mission to serve Oak Park.